Why Do We Hear of People Wanting to Change after a Near-Death Experience?
Okay, in this blog, I’d like to take the opportunity to return to some of the things I’ve talked about in previous blogs. If you’ve been following them, you might recognize the title as being similar to an earlier one. The reason I want to return to this is to do a kind of summing up and try to bring several ideas together.
Over the previous five blogs, we’ve given ourselves an overview of meditation and spirituality, what they mean, and how they link to other, sometimes potentially conflicting, areas of life. In doing so, we’ve seen that (to put it as simply as I can) we already possess everything we need to live a spiritually full life. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t things we can’t learn, and we certainly don’t know everything. However, that which connects us to the universe and the Divine is already present within us. If we don’t feel like it’s there, it’s a case of looking within, finding it, and nurturing it rather than obtaining it from somewhere or someone else — you can’t order it from Amazon!
In essence, this is why we hear of people wanting to change their lives after a near-death experience: it can fundamentally change our relationship with ourselves. As I mentioned in my previous blog on the subject, and as I talk about in Meditations with Grandma, I have never had a near-death experience, but I have come close enough to losing everything to know what it is like to be jolted into making big changes to the way one lives their life and looks at themselves.
We might think that someone who has a near-death experience has a kind of religious experience where they temporarily experience a heavenly afterlife. It’s not my place to comment on such events, but it’s ironic to think about those things when I believe that the reason people want to change after a near-death experience is that it forces them, either suddenly or over time, to look inward with a heightened perception at who they really are and what they really want.
In looking inward and keeping our attention there through meditation and spirituality, we connect to ourselves on a far deeper level than we do by mostly focusing outward on the fleeting aspects of our lives (material possessions, career progression, etc.)
I should stress that I am not saying for one second that your career is not important or that material possessions do not matter. Everyone should aspire to walk the life path that makes them happy and fulfilled. But that path begins deep within us, within our very souls, and so until we go there, we cannot know that we are on it.
In that sense, our inner relationship is our grounding. And unfortunately, it sometimes takes an event as extreme as a near-death experience to bring us back to Earth.